Saturday, April 23, 2011


Nothing in Disneyland's New Tomorrowland of 1967 went without  the magic touch of WED! The PeopleMover's elevated beam-way is a fine example. In the earliest renderings, simple tubular support poles appear raising the PeopleMover's cars above the ground level  of this "World on the Move". Eventually WED designers  attention went to work. Thanks to Imagineers Victor Greene , John Wise , and John Hench, simple support posts became sweeping modern arches, buttresses and biomorphic "tree-branches" adding to the overall mood and feeling of this Future world.  A simple engineering function transformed as art.

As simple as this center-line entry support is, the mathematics involved to create it is boggling!

a  shady spot to enjoy a Space Mist Punch
(view: between PeopleMover Station SpeedRamps)

Gracefully MODERN!!!!

SpeedRamp down.............

I love this building!

Left flank entry arch
My PeopleMover car is one of these........but underneath reveals it's 1967 heritage:  I own train 12 (red), CAR B!

If guests could only enjoy views like this today.......

A 1977 addition over at the Space Place

More 1967 design (luckily) surviving into the REAL 21st Century!
Next time you're here, take closer look at these planter/benches: they are in the shape of the original Goodyear  logo shape!!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Early concept of Monsanto's Fashion Fountain

Not too long ago over on Kevin Kidney's great blog,  a special post focused on the unusual beauty of Monsanto's Fashion Fountain. Tomorrowlounge presents a follow-up salute to this intriguing and  mystifying Modern Motion Sculpture finale to the famed ADVENTURE THRU INNER SPACE!

A cross section showing the Fashion Fountain's relationship to the passing PeopleMover cars and AtomMobiles -a perfect example of WED's SAFETY ENVELOPE!

As part of Monsanto's corporate message, the Fashion Fountain --or actually termed FIBER FOUNTAIN during the design phase-- this oil-drip sculpture was the first exhibit seen by guests in the MIRACLES FROM MOLECULES product-industrial area of the Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction.

A very sophisticated "lounge like setting" ........THIS IS MONSANTO!!
John Hench made many suggestions to this attraction --like adding the walnut-wood paneling to "soften things up" (I wonder what Monsanto's response was to this..........??) Even the exhibit text-tablets featured Walnut ends! The Fashion Fountain , or FIBER FOUNTAIN was also a result of the "softening" of this space --and to lighten what could have turned out to be a heavy-laden corporate overlay. Note the first concept for the sculpture that proceeded the Fashion Fountain:

A swinging, rotating "billboard" confronts guests after their "Thrilling Journey into the Atom"

It was advised to Monsanto that this might be too much corporate message -as a result the graceful looking Fashion Fountain was envisioned.

Here the FIBER FOUNTAIN features no inner display

note how the inner exhibit must be accessed thru a hatch located in the pavilion's roof!

120 individual flowers helped cover up the fountains' "drip pan"

adding to the softening were 120 "flowers" -these helped to create an "natural" feel to a otherwise heavy artificial product line.

Here in the exit area a moody atmosphere displays humorous animated vignettes of Monsanto products and on the back wall-a large 1967 version of the World Clock

As 60's came to an end, this exhibit space featured several updates to the interior as well as the exhibits themselves. In time, Monsanto's sponsorship ended and the Fashions inside the fountain were removed and in their place was inserted an illuminated 70's  "Molecule-Skewer Mobile".

Note the old Miracles' from Molecules exhibit tablets-with the walnut ends

The entire exit area lost much of it's mood and feeling when Monsanto pulled out. The giant clock of the world was removed and a access hole was cut into the wall to allow guests to dump themselves right into the Character Shop. Where the wall clock was once mounted now stood merchandise display counter selling watches, clocks, film and camera equipment --ironically probably made from plastics by Monsanto! The lighting was no longer dim and atmospheric but bright. The Monsanto product niches cut into the wood paneled walls now featured Tomorrowland attraction posters. The walnut edged display tablets that once touted the wonder's of Monsanto, now featured explanation of what the attraction was all about -no doubt because of the guests that strayed into the exit area from the Character Shop.........

Odd however, was the fact that long after Monsanto was gone from Tomorrowland, guests --if they listened closely, could still hear the song, Miracles From Molecules --the attraction's Sherman Brothers penned anthem written for Monsanto. Even in 1985, the song could still faintly be heard.

Monday, April 11, 2011

AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST FINAL #6 --America Sings replacements that never were!!

AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST FINAL #6 --America Sings replacements that never were!!

Once AMERICA SINGS had been shuttered, Walt Disney Imagineering really did intend to install a replacement show very soon.....however corporate management and Disneyland management butted heads with WDI's creativity.

The Carousel Theater with a biomorphic shell-roof & buttresses of the unrealized

 Ideas for a new Disneyland Carousel Theater show date back to the early 80's when the Oriental Land Company was offered AMERICA SINGS in it's early attraction package proposal.  When EPCOT CENTER opened, WED/WDI planed on bringing many EPCOT shows to Disneyland--and many did in the form of a revised 1984 GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN, MAGIC JOURNEYS at the SPACE STAGE, and WONDERS OF CHINA in Circle Vision. When HORIZONS was being developed, there was a proposal to use duplicated show-set pieces from the 'Looking Back At Tomorrow" sequence ---these "retro futures" would fill each theater/Acts ......a Victorian -Jules Verne ACT 1, a 20's 30's-Art Deco Future view ACT 2, a 50's 60's future ACT 3, culminating in a Carousel of Progress family future with major elements from "Tomorrows Windows" sections of  HORIZONS main show.  The host on this Disneyland -simplified Horizons show was........Jules Verne (using existing DREAM FINDER AA tooling from Journey into Imagination)

Disneyland's Carousel Theater as

Other plans included the Great Animation Machine! Here the Carousel Theater would celebrate Classic Disney animated films of the past -and arriving to a final theater to preview guests the newest Disney film of the day. The upstairs was used to show the process on animation and display artwork and equipment used in developing the animated films of Disney. This like AMERICA SINGS seemed out-of-place in TOMORROWLAND.

Note in the rendering above how the exterior facade has elements of a film reel can. And take a closer look at the entrance marquee----------looks like the EYE OF MARA symbol!!

When HORIZONS opened at EPCOT CENTER in 1983, General Electric felt the Carousel of Progress was not a big enough "toy" for them and lost interest in the original Carousel of Progress attraction. Incidentally, HORIZONS "Tomorrows Windows" was designed as a continuation of The Carousel of Progress --even the AA figure of the man in the future apartment of Mesa Verde is the same mold as the Carousel of Progress Father!!!


With HORIZONS operating in Florida, WED/WDI planned replacements for the Walt Disney World Carousel Theater, with the intention of bringing the Carousel of Progress "home" to Disneyland!! In 1984, WED proposed to the EDISON ELECTRIC Institute -who sponsored Florida's WEDWAY PeopleMover, to bring sponsorship to the West Coast in the form of a revised and updated COP, to be called ,

Here are segments of the script---------and the lyrics to the 3rd generation song., "HERE COMES TOMORROW"

I wonder what the music was like??

In some future post on TOMORROWLOUNGE I'll display the entire script

Walt Disney World wanted to keep their version of the show and by the early 1990's a revised version of the Carousel of Progress opened. Disneyland theater remained vacant, but by this time, a WHOLE new TOMORROWLAND was under development----------a major redo  to rival the Tomorrowland 1967 with all new attractions and an entire  sky walk system creating a whole connecting second level to the land.

PLECTU'S GALACTIC REVUE "lands" in Tomorrowland

During this time WDI was developing a show using a combination of Industrial Robots and AA show-bots who had  a striking resemblance to some famous EARTHLING music performers!


This show seems to smell of FOOD ROCKS

For Florida's WDI was proposing NEW TOMORROWLAND - GALACTIC EXPO 2071 (this eventually became the 20's-30's Deco-Tech Future theme that opened in 1994.

For Disneyland, WDI was planning NEW TOMORROWLAND -SPACE PORT EARTH 2055!!
This became just TOMORROWLAND 2055

Plectu's Robots were soon replaced with music Aliens!!


In 1991 this revised version of the Plectu's show was described in a Disney Company Forum booklet :
"an outer space musical-variety revue, starring a troupe of itinerant alien musicians and featuring the latest advances in theater effects and "Audio-Animatronics" technology"
Danny Elfman developed the score for the musical numbers

P.T. QUANTUM's Showboat -Spaceship in Tomorrowland

these are looking too cute for Tomorrowland 2055................

Michael Eisner thought these were too cutesy as well.........and said the show seemed like something you'd see at any Chuck E. Cheese restaurants around the country. This along with some problems in fitting Alien Encounter into the Mission To Mars building-------and a few other things  killed TOMORROWLAND 2055...............

A billboard concept for future acts.........(this is NO joke!!)

The NEW TOMORROWLAND 2055 project was put on hold, and it's budget was given to the creation of TOONTOWN and FANTASMIC!!

Once attention was placed back on TOMORROWLAND, Disneyland wanted the Carousel Theater removed completely-------the first plans were for a "lake" with rock structures surrounding it in a stone henge fashion-in the middle a rock-island with the ASTRO ORBITOR at it's center.
Some TRUE Imagineers were determined to NOT let the old Carousel Theater get demolished and vowed to get the theater rotating once again. The challenge: there was almost NO budget in the Paul Pressler regime.......but WDI was gonna find a way.

For those of us who do not care for Disneyland's INOVENTIONS, here is something we must understand: without it-----there would no longer be a Carousel Theater at Disneyland. WDI spent money to KEEP the theater and get it to rotate again. Now, with a saved show building--there was NO money for a show inside. WDI reluctantly had to search for sponsors-lots of them to help provide much needed money to fill the void within.

No single BIG sponsor could be hooked, but smaller sponsors were interested. The Result: An attraction that had to showcase sponsor's products -----creating the INOVANTIONS format like EPCOT CENTER.

Bruce Gorden --a art director for the NEW TOMORROWLAND of 1998 said a year before opening........."We have NO idea want the HELL we are gonna put in here!.........."

an early mock-up test to give potential sponsors an idea of what could be done.......
note the HORIZONS Butler Robot in the distance?

this is less than a year to opening..........

The carousel Theater awaits sponsors and a decision on which mural will be used!

A beautiful new mural was designed by master futurist Syd Mead (of Short Circuit and Bladerunner films) but Imagineering couldn't use it as it didn't fit the loosely tied together theme of the growing number of sponsors.........

COMING SOON TO TOMORROWLOUNGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, April 09, 2011

AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST PART 5 - the Carousel Theater Comes to a screeching halt and the erosion begins!

AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST PART 5 - the Carousel Theater Comes to a screeching halt and the erosion begins!

This sign gave guests hopeful expectations for almost a decade!!

And while things seemed quietly the same on the outside: We knew that Imagineering were working busily on the 3rd Disneyland Generation Carousel Theater show right!!???

Well, not exactly!

Guests haven't sat here in many many years ---but people WERE using it!

Here we see a sad and ill fitting use for the exit stage of America Sings being used as a training and presentation room! Notice the ORIGINAL Carousel Of Progress seats with walnut armrests??
(don't worry.....the Weasel, Sam and Owl have been removed for years when this picture was taken)

Even the Colonel left the Old South behind!

To the left of ACT 1 (OLD SOUTH) is the "welcome-introduction theater"--when this picture was taken it was being used as extra offices for Disneyland engineering and construction

Debris and collapsing set pieces are strewn about!

In ACT 2 THE OLD WEST we see the REMAINS of old wagon REMAINS.

The scrim hangs from the clouds was once used for the haunting-romantic number "Home on The Range"

This saloon use to be one of my favorite show sets.

In ACT 4, MODERN TIMES. Notice how the stage trap doors have been boarded up!

The magic that once was.............

How would you like to be hired at Disneyland at then be shown to your new office here!?? I'd LOVE IT!!

Some last looks of the upper balcony details of AMERICA SINGS. Notice the trash bags left up there!

When the first paint scheme was being tested for Inoventions, the first coverings of paint were peeling here-and-there (no lead!!) and I was able to get a piece of the "peel". Why??? because I liked it!!----it featured a top peel of INOVENTIONS, with an exposed layer of AMERICA SINGS..AND..................a third exposed layer of CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS MURAL!!!!! A Tomorrowland retrospective (in paint) in the palm of my hand!!!

More architectural views.
Now some of you may have noticed that there were no scenes of ACT 3, The GAY 90's. That's because by this time entertainment costuming was using that theater for storage. The interior showed no signs of it's Turn-of-the-century elegance. Just drywall and rack and racks of costumes. HOWEVER..............................downstairs was another story!!!!!

It was amazing that even after almost a decade there were figures and props left in here!!! see the waiter pig from the GAY 90's sequence! on the floor was even the steel shadow silhouette of the Wandering boy segment "Drinking Rabbit". Above would have been the GAY 90's STAGE and sets.

When this exterior shot was taken there was only a few more days left before the AMERICA SINGS remnants would be gutted and tossed forever! See the barricades ready to go up!?

Come back and visit TOMORROWLOUNGE to see the Carousel Theater get gutted and a revue of some attractions that almost took residence here--like THE CENTURY OF PROGRESS---PLECTU'S GALACTIC SHOWBOAT EXTRODINAIR and other concepts in AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST # 6!!!!!